PGE Skra BELCHATOW joins elitist club with fifth consecutive win
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men
Lodz, Poland, December 5, 2012. PGE Skra BELCHATOW continues its perfect run in Pool E of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League. Tomis CONSTANTA was another victim of the Polish powerhouse as the local heroes cruised to a straight win – the fifth running – on Wednesday at Atlas Arena in Lodz (25-23, 25-21, and 25-11).
PGE Skra started without 3 important players. It had been known before that Aleksandar Atanasijevic would be out because of injury but on Wednesday Mariusz Wlazly felt pain in his back, stayed on the bench and had to be replaced by Konstantin Cupkovic, who usually plays as a receiver. Wytze Kooistra could have been another replacement on the opposite position but the regular middle-blocker could not be moved as Karol Klos was out due to family problems.
These substitutions made the strong favorite (PGE Skra BELCHATOW topped Pool E with 12 points) quite vulnerable and Tomis CONSTANTA tried to make use of that. The Romanian rookie took the lead at 17:15 in the opening set after a series of good attacks of Mladen Bojovic and Marko Bojic (who is actual Polish champion with Resovia RZESZOW!) but an ace by Pawel Woicki and attack by Daniel Plinski put the home team to the front (18:17). A good attack killed by Wytze Kooistra sealed the opening set in which PGE Skra middle-blockers scored a total of 7 points from 8 attacks. 12 points of Bojovic and Bojic turned to be not enough for Tomis. It is worth mentioning that only 9 mistakes were made in the opening set (6 by Tomis).
The second set was equal until the second technical time-out. When Igor Merkushev put two attacks out the gap (18:14) was too big to be compensated. The players from CONSTANTA took real risks with their serve but it did not pay back as the guest team made 7 errors and scored no points.
The third set turned out to be the last as PGE totally dominated the opponents, leading even 14:4!
Marko Bojic was the best player of Tomis, and the best scorer of the match registering 18 points.
“It is always a pleasure to play in front of the Polish fans. I know them from the last season, and they are great. We did our best in the opening sets, but the substitution of the PGE Skra playmaker put us out of the ribbon in the last. Dante Boninfante made the play faster” stated Bojic, a former player of Asseco Resovia RZESZOW, last year’s Polish Champion.
Radovan Gacic, the coach of Tomis, agreed with his best player: “Nobody expected us to score even a point in this difficult group. We have already scored 4 and still have chances to qualify for the CEV Cup, which would be a real success. Today we received a very good lesson in the last set, but the first and second looked really good. We made too many mistakes in the second and it proved to be costly”.
Michal Winiarski was the best scorer of PGE Skra with 15 points, while Konstantin Cupkovic added 13. “We did not expect such a crowd on this match. We were the strong favorite and led in the group, but people wanted to watch us. We showed them and our opponents respect, playing all the time 100 per cent” stated Winiarski.
“I have not even dreamt about qualifying from this group after 5 matches! Today we played really good, close to perfection in the last set. Dante Boninfante did a good job, when he came as a substitute in the last set. I am proud of my boys” said PGE Skra coach Jacek Nawrocki.
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